VENICE AREA AUDUBON SOCIETY
Providing education and conservation to protect birds and their habitats at the Venice Rookery and the greater Venice area.

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How to Get to the Venice Rookery Park

The Venice Rookery Park is open to the public from dawn to dusk (6:00 am to 9:00 pm), 365 days a year. To ensure the safety of the birds, no dogs or other pets are allowed. Alligators are present and visitors are encouraged to stay away from the water's edge for safety.

Parking: Please use designated parking spots. Additional parking is available at the Sarasota County Anderson Administration Center lot. Please do not park on the grass or drive inside the park. One spot is designated for people with disabilities.

From the North: Take U.S. 41 (Tamiami Trail) south, 1/2 mile past Rt. 776. Turn right onto Annex Road at the Sarasota County Anderson Administration Center. Follow Annex Road past the parking area and the Venice Audubon Center to the Rookery parking and open pavilion.

From the South: Take U.S. 41 (Tamiami Trail) north, 1/8 mile past Jacaranda Blvd. (Walmart on south corner). Turn left onto Annex Road at the Sarasota County Anderson Administration Center. Follow Annex Road past the parking area and the Venice Audubon Center to the Rookery parking and open pavilion.

From I-75: Take Exit 193, merge onto Jacaranda Blvd., and continue to U.S. 41. Turn right (north) onto U.S. 41 (Tamiami Trail), go 1/8 mile, and turn left onto Annex Road at the Sarasota County Anderson Administration Center. Follow Annex Road past the parking area and the Venice Audubon Center to the Rookery parking and open pavilion.

ABOUT THe ROOKERY

The Venice Rookery Park is an oasis for wildlife surrounded by urban development. Internationally known among bird photographers, the small lake features a rookery island with a breeding colony of birds. Birds can be viewed from benches in the shaded pavilion and visitors can walk around the lake (about .5 mile). 

During nesting season (usually December through May), visitors can observe Great Blue Herons, Great Egrets, Anhingas, Snowy Egrets, Cattle Egrets, Glossy Ibises, Green Herons, Tricolored Herons, and Black-crowned Night Herons roosting, building nests, courting, incubating eggs, and raising chicks.

Nesting season is busy but the Rookery has avian visitors year round. Nesting species and other birds flock to the island at sunset to roost safely for the night. Alligators patrol the lake, keeping predators away from the island’s birds.

Early morning or early evening are the best viewing times, and evening visitors can see thousands of bats emerging from bat houses near the lake as well. During nesting season, volunteer docents from the Venice Area Audubon Society are present at the pavilion to provide information and answer questions. 

The Venice Area Audubon Society stewards the Venice Rookery Park and is an all-volunteer organization. Your donations are welcome and secure donation box located at the pavilion. Contributions support our education and conservation projects, including bringing hundreds of second-grade school children to the Rookery each year.

More information about the birds

Click here to download a checklist of birds seen at or near the Venice Rookery Park. Please email us if you observe additional species (info@veniceaudubon.org). 

Think Before You Shoot
Photographing Florida Birds Wisely

Do you enjoy taking pictures of wildlife in their natural habitat? Watch this video for some easy to follow tips to make your experience with nature safer and more fulfilling.

Learn more at: Audubon Florida / Wildlife Photography Ethics 

Bat Houses

Watching thousands of bats emerge from their houses at the Venice Rookery Park is a popular evening activity. Six bat houses, installed by Sarasota County Parks and Recreations, are on the south side of the Rookery pond. The main species are the Evening Bat (Nycticeius humeralisand the Brazilian (Mexican) free-tailed bat (Tadarida brasiliensis). 

contact us

VAAS Email: info@veniceaudubon.org

VAAS telephone: 941-496-8984

Sarasota County Call Center: 941-861-5000 (General information and directions)

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